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TOPIC: Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really

Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 17, 2017 03:01 PM #1

  • seanV18
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I know this is a very broad question and will stir up a variety of responses. I realize a lot depends on were your vessel is birthed, salt or fresh water, covered on uncovered, amount of electrolysis in the surrounding marina, type of bottom paint, etc. Im just wondering what you all have as a schedule.

My 3270 sits in an uncovered slip in the pacific ocean in Santa Cruz CA. The harbor is known for a high level of electrolysis. She also gets quite a bit of sun around the hull. Let me know what you all are doing in a similar situation.

Just a note,

Im embarrassed to say that when I first put the boat in the water here, I did NOTHING below the waterline for about 4 years!. When the the guy dove my boat for the first time he said nothing was really that bad :blink: After four years!??????? Now I feel he is down there a bit too often.
Santa Cruz CA
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1981 -3270
Volvo AQ140's
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 17, 2017 03:14 PM #2

  • westkal
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Due to all of the various parameters that are in your area, I would walk over and talk to a marina where they actually do bottom paint. Talk to the service manager and perhaps he might take you over to some boats
that are about to have their bottoms painted so you can get a look at the condition as to when they should be getting done

It also depends a lot on the type of paint that you use and the amount you use your boat if you use an ablative paint. As an ablative paint sloughs off, you can normally begin to see the primer begin to show or the outside color tends to look a little mottled, ie some places thicker, some places thinner

Re zincs, a visual inspection is all that you need to do. Throw on a mask and snorkel and you can do the inspection yourself
Last Edit: Feb 17, 2017 03:30 PM by westkal.
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 17, 2017 03:52 PM #3

  • Norton Rider
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In addition to asking others at the marina, I suggest that you get a baseline first. With fresh bottom paint and zincs have a reliable diver check the boat at 3 months and at 6 months. This should help you determine how often the bottom needs cleaning and the zincs need replacing.

My boat is in Anacortes, WA, at a marina with a lot of water flow. The diver checks the boat every 6 months and replaces zincs once a year. Incidentally, the diver has checked the boat three times after I had the bottom painted with Micron 66. He has had to do zero cleaning.
1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 17, 2017 04:55 PM #4

  • Mike McGahan
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I keep my 47 in Tacoma, and have a diver clean the bottom & check zincs 2 3 times per yer. I am considering installing one of those Ultra Sonic systems to keep the bottom clean. the reviews I have read are generally positive. Keeps bottom 90% cleaner, improves fuel efficiency and reduces haul outs. Has anyone had one installed? Looks like you have to drill through the inside hull to install the sending units such that they are touching the outer hull. costs about $2500 for my boat plus installation.

Mike
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 17, 2017 04:59 PM #5

  • canoel
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We haul every three years. Have the diver clean the bottom usually once during that time. More if we are not using it as much.
The more your boat gets used the less stuff grows on it.
Joel
1987 3818 Hino 175
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 17, 2017 06:39 PM #6

  • Uncle Bob
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Leaving paint too long means some extra work. Leaving zincs too long means big bucks fixing damage. You need to know your zinc condition. You can do that with a volt meter assets.fluke.com/appnotes/electricalpower/B0269b_u.pdf or you can hang over the side and look. Your key zincs are center transom and trim tabs. I wouldn't worry about checking shaft zincs since many, including me, don't use them.
1989 26' then 1994 32' now 2001 39'
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 17, 2017 07:03 PM #7

  • NeilW
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seanV18 wrote:
I know this is a very broad question and will stir up a variety of responses. I realize a lot depends on were your vessel is birthed, salt or fresh water, covered on uncovered, amount of electrolysis in the surrounding marina, type of bottom paint, etc. Im just wondering what you all have as a schedule.

My 3270 sits in an uncovered slip in the pacific ocean in Santa Cruz CA. The harbor is known for a high level of electrolysis. She also gets quite a bit of sun around the hull. Let me know what you all are doing in a similar situation.

Just a note,

Im embarrassed to say that when I first put the boat in the water here, I did NOTHING below the waterline for about 4 years!. When the the guy dove my boat for the first time he said nothing was really that bad :blink: After four years!??????? Now I feel he is down there a bit too often.

I own and operate a boat yard just up the way from you in Alameda, and we haul and paint quite a few boats from Santa Cruz. Typically boats that use high copper load epoxy paints like Interlux Ultra or Pettit Trinidad SR haul every 3-4 years to paint. Regarding galvanic corrosion, it all depend what boat is next to you so I advise checking your zinc after three months, if ok then check twice a year. Around here I rarely see zincs last a full year so be careful. And I strongly disagree with the statement one made here about not using shaft zincs as I look at over 700 boats a year and I replace more props than any other underwater metal due to spend zincs, or no zincs at all. Putting bronze props on S.S. shafts in salt water causes different voltages thus resulting in damage when electrolysis occurs. It is simple science.
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 17, 2017 08:11 PM #8

  • seanV18
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Thanks for chiming in locally! I think that is a great guideline. By most of these responses, I think my diver is spending a bit too much time under my boat.
Santa Cruz CA
"Molly Ray "
1981 -3270
Volvo AQ140's
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 17, 2017 09:25 PM #9

  • mmichellich
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seanV18 wrote:
I know this is a very broad question and will stir up a variety of responses. I realize a lot depends on were your vessel is birthed, salt or fresh water, covered on uncovered, amount of electrolysis in the surrounding marina, type of bottom paint, etc. Im just wondering what you all have as a schedule.

My 3270 sits in an uncovered slip in the pacific ocean in Santa Cruz CA. The harbor is known for a high level of electrolysis. She also gets quite a bit of sun around the hull. Let me know what you all are doing in a similar situation.

Just a note,

Im embarrassed to say that when I first put the boat in the water here, I did NOTHING below the waterline for about 4 years!. When the the guy dove my boat for the first time he said nothing was really that bad :blink: After four years!??????? Now I feel he is down there a bit too often.

If you did nothing for 4 years, you could have done serious damage to your boat. I do not know about California waters but in Puget Sound I have my zincs checked and the water line scrubbed every six months. Some zinc replacement is usually needed each dive. My boat is under cover except for a couple feet at the bow. Boats with no cover need more scrubbing, but zinc usage should be the same. Have you changed zincs in your bilge, engine, gen set, transmission coolers?
Started boating 1965
Bayliners owned: 26 Victoria, 28 Bounty, 32, 38, and 47 since 1996
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 17, 2017 09:32 PM #10

  • SomeSailor
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I can get a year on underwater zincs no problem and have gone as far as 18 months. If I'm due to haul I'll stretch a bit. I like to change the zincs on the engines and genset every 6 mos.
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 18, 2017 01:28 AM #11

  • kev_rm
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+1 for do your own inspection.

Your local bottom cleaning diver has other motives.
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 18, 2017 01:45 AM #12

  • talman
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ya gotta know what is right. One year was pushing it for shaft zincs. I doubled up, two on each shaft, and it is just right. The diver dream and the trim tab zincs are adequate. I have to change the aftercooler zincs extremely often. 6 months.
It's your boat, you gotta figure her out and treat her the way she wants to be treated.
Tally and Vicki
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 18, 2017 03:15 AM #13

  • HUSKEY BAY
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my boat eats zincs like candy.. I'm in Dana Point, CA

my boat is scrubbed every month...and zincs replaced as needed.

Necessary part of boating in salt water...don't try to cut corners here....important maintenance.

good luck,

be safe
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 18, 2017 07:02 PM #14

  • canoel
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For those of you that are eating zincs, you really need to investigate why. It could be your boat, or basically anybody that is connected to your shore power service. All it takes is one boat to have a 12v leak, and every boat will suffer. I use a meter with a line dropped into the water. Test two or three times a year. Our zincs easily last 2- 3 seasons.
Joel
1987 3818 Hino 175
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Prince Rupert B.C.
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 18, 2017 07:29 PM #15

  • fstbttms
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seanV18 wrote:
My 3270 sits in an uncovered slip in the pacific ocean in Santa Cruz CA. The harbor is known for a high level of electrolysis.

I am new to this forum so let me just say that I own a Bay Area dive service and have over twenty two years and 30,000+ bottoms cleaned experience. I believe I can speak with some authority on this subject.

"Electrolysis" is an oft-misused term and is not something that is in the water or in your marina. In fact, it is not even something that affects your boat. "Electrolytic corrosion" however is the result of stray current attacking your underwater metals. That said, the fact that you left your boat's running gear uninspected for four years with no apparent issues would tend to refute the claim that Santa Cruz Harbor is "hot," something I have heard about virtually every one of the many dozens of marinas I have worked over the course of the last twenty two years. I find that boat owners who experience corrosion or rapid anode depletion issues will often blame the neighboring boats or the marina when in fact, the problem lies aboard the boat in question. The hot harbor is largely a wive's tale, IMHO.

Regarding bottom cleaning frequency: Hull cleaning in Northern California should be performed every two or three months. The OP does not say how frequently he is having it done, but if it is less than that, he is doing himself a disservice. The way to make your expensive anti fouling paint perform as well as possible for as long as possible is to always clean it gently. This means never letting it get even moderately foul. The less frequently the boat is cleaned, the dirtier the bottom gets and the more abrasive the cleaning media and the more aggressive the cleaning must be to remove the growth. This, of course, shortens the paint's lifespan. The bottom line is (no pun intended) that relatively frequent, gentle cleanings are better for your anti fouling paint than less frequent, more abrasive cleanings.

Regarding anode replacement: Shaft anodes will typically need to be replaced (meaning they have reached 50% depletion) within 6-9 months. Significantly more or less than this is indicative of an issue needing rectification. Strut, rudder, trim-tab and especially transom anodes will usually last much longer. In any case, I would never recommend going more than 6 months between visual inspections of the anodes, regardless of how frequently you have your hull cleaned.
"Clean bottoms are FastBottoms!"
Last Edit: Feb 18, 2017 08:08 PM by fstbttms.
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 18, 2017 07:42 PM #16

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Mike McGahan wrote:
I keep my 47 in Tacoma, and have a diver clean the bottom & check zincs 2 3 times per yer. I am considering installing one of those Ultra Sonic systems to keep the bottom clean. the reviews I have read are generally positive. Keeps bottom 90% cleaner, improves fuel efficiency and reduces haul outs. Has anyone had one installed?

The fact that almost nobody uses these things is a testament to their effectiveness, IMHO.
"Clean bottoms are FastBottoms!"
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 18, 2017 09:44 PM #17

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Thanks all for this. Thanks Neil especially.
Joe
2001 5288
Lucky Liner ll
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 19, 2017 02:52 AM #18

  • brad4550
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NeilW
The props being replaced due to lack of shaft zincs.....what's your opinion on shaft brushes??
Thanks for your reply Brad
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 19, 2017 06:33 PM #19

  • Uncle Bob
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Interesting, Brad, that Bayliner didn't put shaft zincs on their new boats although some dealers may have later. I've never used them and never had issues. I know that's opposite from what Neil says, and I've seen lots of support for Neil's position. I'm only relating my experience. It appears many shaft zincs spin off between replacement anyway.
1989 26' then 1994 32' now 2001 39'
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 19, 2017 07:13 PM #20

  • freedre
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Uncle Bob wrote:
Interesting, Brad, that Bayliner didn't put shaft zincs on their new boats although some dealers may have later. I've never used them and never had issues. I know that's opposite from what Neil says, and I've seen lots of support for Neil's position. I'm only relating my experience. It appears many shaft zincs spin off between replacement anyway.

I use shaft zincs, but I know a number of people at my marina that do not. Dissimilar metals found in the shafts and propellers suggest that they are necessary. They are not really expensive and not difficult to install, so why not?



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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 19, 2017 08:09 PM #21

  • SomeSailor
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Uncle Bob wrote:
Interesting, Brad, that Bayliner didn't put shaft zincs on their new boats although some dealers may have later. I've never used them and never had issues. I know that's opposite from what Neil says, and I've seen lots of support for Neil's position. I'm only relating my experience. It appears many shaft zincs spin off between replacement anyway.

Anything that'll extend the life of your overall zinc package is good. I run two 2" shaft zincs on each shaft and if any spin off prior to haul, that's fine too. I have shaft brushes that help as well.
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 20, 2017 12:32 AM #22

  • NeilW
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brad4550 wrote:
NeilW
The props being replaced due to lack of shaft zincs.....what's your opinion on shaft brushes??
Thanks for your reply Brad

Shaft brushes are ok when there is not enough room to install zinc, but the continuity is not as good. Better than nothing though.
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 20, 2017 12:34 AM #23

  • NeilW
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Uncle Bob wrote:
Interesting, Brad, that Bayliner didn't put shaft zincs on their new boats although some dealers may have later. I've never used them and never had issues. I know that's opposite from what Neil says, and I've seen lots of support for Neil's position. I'm only relating my experience. It appears many shaft zincs spin off between replacement anyway.

Zincs won't spin off if installed properly.

Install zinc, tighten fasteners
Smack anode with a hammer
Retighten zinc

Open beer
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 20, 2017 01:05 AM #24

  • Uncle Bob
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Agreed about installing properly. Pretty simple to check if shaft zincs are necessary with a multimeter. Of course, as Some Sailor wrote, having extra zinc isn't a bad thing.
1989 26' then 1994 32' now 2001 39'
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Bottom cleaning and zincs. How often? Really Feb 20, 2017 01:15 AM #25

  • SomeSailor
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The problem with NOT having shaft zincs is if you lose bonding or the other zincs burn off, your next line of defense are those expensive bronze or nibral bits. :) With props costing $3000-$4000 a pair, zincs are a pretty good investment.
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